The first step towards bringing the dilapidated National Stadium, Lagos back to life will be taken on Wednesday as the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode and the Nigerian sports minister, Solomon Dalung, will conduct joint visit to the structure.
According to a statement from the special adviser to the minister on media, Nneka Nkem Anibeze, both the governor and the minister will conduct a two-day working visit to the site and various youth centres in Lagos.
The inspection kick starts what will eventually end up as cooperation between the federal government and Lagos state to renovate the National Stadium. The edifice has continued to dilapidate after the last international game was played in the main bowl in 2005.
The Lagos state Governor Mr Akinwunmi Ambode expressed intent to give the stadium a face lift last week, when he paid a courtesy and condolence visit to the Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung in Abuja.
“I will like to bring the National stadium to life. The last time a game was played at the National Stadium was in 2005. If this project pulls through, it will bring about the employment aspect of football and hosting of matches at the stadium. We want to bring back the football culture of Lagos state to the National Stadium after its renovation” Governor Ambode said.
Most stadia in the country had been up for concession following federal government’s inability to fund the renovations of most of the football grounds.
According to the Minister, “We were trying to drive a concession but Lagos state’s interest in the National Stadium is what we call an overriding interest which is based on equity. If Governor Ambode is interested in the National Stadium then the concession process is already abated” Dalung said.
Barrister Dalung and Governor Ambode are due to inspect the National Stadium Surulere Lagos on Wednesday to assess the level of work to be done there. They will also visit the various youth centres in the state.